December 2, 2007

DON'T MISS WHAT YOU NEVER HAD?:

Russia's choice - prosperity or democracy: As the country prepares to vote, Adrian Blomfield examines why Vladimir Putin's party seems set for a crushing win (Adrian Blomfield, 01/12/2007, Daily Telegraph)

Through Sunday's vote, Mr Putin is essentially offering the Russian people a deal - to choose prosperity and stability in place of democracy.

Whether consciously or otherwise, the overwhelming majority of Russians are happy to sign on.

Opinion polls show that the president enjoys an approval rating of more than 70 per cent.

Looking at the smart apartment blocks springing up all over Tyumen - a city in western Siberia - it's not hard to see why Russians seem so enthusiastic.

After a decade of uncertainty, violence and chaos under Boris Yeltsin, the country is in the midst of an energy-fuelled boom unparalleled in Russia's history.

Unlike in the 1990s, it is not just a handful of oligarchs that have grown richer. A genuine, though small, middle class has been born.


Russians have never enjoyed either freedom or security so it's not surprising that seeming to provide one would win support. And once they're affluent and secure enough they'd choose the other, but because of demographics they'll not reach that point.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 2, 2007 1:58 PM
Comments

A "benevolent" czar?

Posted by: ic at December 3, 2007 3:18 AM
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